The Importance of Chariot Racing for the Romans

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The Importance of Chariot Racing for the Romans

Racing has been a pastime for humans ever since we were able to tame

animals and since we have had the technology to allowed us. There are

so many forms of racing in the world today that have been shaped

through hundreds and thousands of years. What is it that attracts us

to racing? Is it the speed, potential crashes or even just the

atmosphere? To answer this question many things have to be considered.

To start with lets look at the start of the Rome, at the first

celebration of the Consualia in honour of Consus (an ancient god of

agriculture) the rape of the Sabine Women is believed to have

happened. Romulus (founder of Rome) held chariot races at this

celebration. The Sabine people - An ancient tribe from the mountains

of central Italy, were invited to watch the chariot races. During this

time Rome had no women, the chariots were a distraction, as the men

were watching the Romans kidnapped the women and took them for their

own wives.

This shows a few things, we can see firstly that chariot racing has

existed from the very beginning of Rome, which obviously means it

holds a lot of importance to the Romans. This sport also was the

foundation of the plan for getting the Romans their women, and just

the fact they used it over anything else shows its significance. We

can also see that the chariot racing would have been a great spectacle

as it had the power to attract a mass of people containing enough

women to start off a colossal empire "nobody had eyes or thoughts for

anything else." Livy.

If we think about the Roman way of life, it progressively got more

involved with en...

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... their

girl-friends at their sides" Juvenal Satires 11.197.

If we look in conclusion "How important was chariot racing for the

Romans?" we can see that the Romans for many reasons would have seen

the chariot racing as important. This is because thinking about it the

chariot racing was not just about the actual race, but much more. In

summary we can see it involved team spirit, bets, social life and

status, blood lust for crashes, idolising racers (and horses) and a

good way to celebrate for emperors.

Bibliography: "life and leisure in ancient Rome", "On the Starting

Line with Ben Hur: Chariot-Racing in the Circus Maximus" and "Daily

life in Ancient Rome". Web pages used are below.

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